According to a new mobile application, a Christian company can assist users in “curing” their homosexuality through technology. An app called “Setting Captives Free” for iPhone and Android phones hopes to relinquish the gay out of users in 60 days.
“Despite what you may have heard elsewhere, you do not have a ‘homosexual gene,’ nor were you born this way with no hope of freedom,” the app claims. “You can be set free from the bondage of homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ and the cross!”
The 60-day online course provides personal testimonials and lessons from Bible principles.
Numerous LGBT rights organizations have condemned the app for its controversial claim. “There is absolutely zero evidence programs like ‘Setting Captives Free’ works,” AllOut co-founder Andre Banks said in a press release. “It is so ridiculous that anyone would think an iPhone or Android app could cure someone’s sexual orientation… but there are vulnerable people who don’t know better and will try this app and fail to change. We are most concerned about those who will harm themselves as a result of this insane app.”
While the site’s Facebook page gained over 79,000 likes and claimed to help over 410,000 people, Apple pulled the app after a petition from AllOut collected over 30,000 signatures.
The app requested the user to agree that marriage equality is similar to legalizing incest, and gay relationships are “immoral.” Apple removed it on the grounds that it violated the company’s developer guidelines.
In 2010, Apple removed a similar gay-bashing app called “The Manhattan Declaration.” Within the controversial app, it asked four questions concerning marriage equality and abortion. If the user gave a pro-LGBT answer, the app bluntly told them that they were incorrect.
In operation for years, Setting Captives Free has not only targeted the LGBT community for conversion, but other “sins,” such as gambling, smoking, pornography, substance abuse, impurity, and overeating.
Gay conversion therapy has proven to be ineffective, and the American Psychiatric Association has denounced it as “psychologically damaging.” The American Psychoanalytic Association adopted a policy intended to end the practice in 2000, stating that “Psychoanalytic technique does not encompass purposeful efforts to ‘convert’ or ‘repair’ an individual’s sexual orientation. Such directed efforts… often result in substantial psychological pain by reinforcing damaging internalized homophobic attitudes.”
Many states have also denounced the usage of conversion therapy. The New Jersey Psychological Association’s executive director, Josephine Minardo, told 429Magazine, “Many associations indicate that reparative therapy is harmful. It’s uniformly agreed that it’s not effective.”
Google has yet to respond or remove the controversial app from its market.